Taiji in the West tends to be taught by numbers – automaton taiji – a set of instructions that could be used to program a robot to do the Form. Such a program is not in essence Taiji – just the bare bones which need to be fleshed out with years of dedicated practice to invest it with energy, spirit and soul. These three qualities constitute the true essence of Taiji, and can only be caught from a master who has them himself – a transmission of energy. This transmission, which presents itself as feeling, mood, aura, is really an awakening. Eventually, as the body fails with age and decrepitude, it is all that's left.

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